Nafissatou Thiam

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Nafissatou Thiam
Nafi Thiam Belgrade 2017.jpg
Personal information
Born (1994-08-19) 19 August 1994 (age 22)
Namur, Belgium
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 68 kg (150 lb)
Country  Belgium
Coached by Roger Lespagnard
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) Heptathlon: 7013 points (3rd all time)
Pentathlon: 4870 points (10th all time)

Nafissatou "Nafi" Thiam (born 19 August 1994) is a Belgian Walloon athlete who became Olympic champion in the heptathlon at the 2016 Summer Olympics and world champion in the same discipline at the 2017 World Championships.


Born in Namur to a Belgian mother and a Senegalese father, Thiam is a member of RFCL, an athletics club from Liège, and is coached by Roger Lespagnard.[1] She studies geography at the University of Liège.[2]

Nafissatou Thiam started with athletics when she was seven years old. She won her first national age group titles in 2009, when she was already participating in the heptathlon. Her favorite athlete at the time was Swedish heptathlete Carolina Klüft.[3]

At the 2011 World Youth Championships in Athletics in Lille, France, she finished fourth in the heptathlon with a total of 5366 points. As a first-year junior, she finished 14th at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Athletics in the heptathlon.

On 3 February 2013, Thiam broke the junior indoor world record in the pentathlon at a meeting in Ghent with a total of 4558 points, breaking her personal best on 4 of the 5 events.[4] Carolina Klüft, who later became Olympic champion and triple world champion, had held the record since 2002 with 4535 points. In doing so Thiam became the first Belgian woman athlete to break a world record.[5] However, in March 2013, the record was not ratified due to a lack of anti-doping control on the day it was achieved. The testing took place the next day which was beyond the deadline.[6]

On 18 July 2013 Thiam won the gold medal in the heptathlon at the European Junior Athletics Championships, achieving a new Belgian record score of 6298 points.

On 13 August 2016, Thiam won the Heptathlon Gold Medal at the Olympic Games in Rio, achieving personal best marks in five of the seven disciplines and defeating reigning Olympic and World Champion Jessica Ennis-Hill.[7] She was the Belgian flag bearer at the Olympic closing ceremony.[8]

On March 3 2017, Thiam won the pentathlon at the 2017 European Indoor Championships in Belgrad

On May 28 2017, Thiam won the heptathlon at the Hypo-Meeting in Götzis, Austria with a total of 7013 points, making her the 4th woman to cross the symbolic 7000 points barrier. As of July 2017, she is number 3 on the all-time list behind Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Carolina Klüft.

On August 6 2017, Thiam won the heptathlon at the 2017 World Championships in London. In doing so, Thiam became the first Belgian to win a World Athletics Championships gold medal.


Olympic Games

  • 2016, heptathlon: outdoor, gold medal (6810 points)

World Championships

  • 2017, heptathlon: outdoor, gold medal (6784 points)

European championships

  • 2017, pentathlon: indoor, gold medal (4870 points)
  • 2015, pentathlon: indoor, silver medal (4696 points)
  • 2014, heptathlon: outdoor, bronze medal (6423 points)

National championships

  • 2016, pentathlon: indoor, gold medal (4678 points)
  • 2016, long jump: indoor, gold medal (6m 51 cm)
  • 2015, high jump: indoor, gold medal (1m 85 cm)
  • 2015, long jump: outdoor, gold medal (6m 40 cm)

Personal bests[edit]

Event Performance Venue Date
100 metres hurdles 13.34 s Austria Götzis, Austria 27 May 2017
High jump 1.98 m Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Austria Götzis, Austria
12 August 2016
27 May 2017
Shot put 15.24 m China Beijing, China 22 August 2015
200 metres 24.40 s Austria Götzis, Austria 27 May 2017
Long jump 6.58 m Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 13 August 2016
Javelin throw 59.32 m (NR) Austria Götzis, Austria 28 May 2017
800 metres 2:15.24 Austria Götzis, Austria 28 May 2017
Heptathlon 7013 pts (NR) Austria Götzis, Austria 28 May 2017
Event Performance Venue Date
60 metres hurdles 8.23 s Serbia Belgrade, Serbia 3 March 2017
High jump 1.96 m Serbia Belgrade, Serbia 3 March 2017
Shot put 15.35 m France Paris, France 8 February 2017
Long jump 6.51 m (NR) Belgium Ghent, Belgium 20 February 2016
800 metres 2:21.18 Belgium Ghent, Belgium 3 February 2013
Pentathlon 4870 pts Serbia Belgrade, Serbia 3 March 2017


  1. ^ "Thiam Nafissatou" (PDF). Ligue belge francophone d'athlétisme. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Nafissatou Thiam cumule les récompenses !". Université de Liège. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Thiam Nafissatou" (PDF) (in French). Ligue belge francophone d'athlétisme. 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Vande Weyer, Philippe (3 February 2013). "Nafissatou Thiam bat le record du monde junior du pentathlon indoor". Le Soir. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Jacobs, Hans (5 February 2013). "Is de nieuwe Tia Hellebaut opgestaan?". Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Le record du monde junior de Nafissatou Thiam, établi à Gand, ne sera pas homologué". Le Soir (in French). 20 March 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "Nafi Thiam kroont zich tot olympisch kampioene op de zevenkamp" (in Dutch). Sporza. 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016. 
  8. ^ "The Flagbearers for the Rio 2016 Closing Ceremony". 2016-08-21. Retrieved 2016-08-22. 

External links[edit]